Virgil Abloh’s final projects before his death arrive in New York City. The late artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear left his ethereal mark in fashion by putting a spin on Nike’s iconic Air Force 1 shoe. The Louis Vuitton and Nike “Air Force 1” by Virgil Abloh debuted earlier this year with just 200 pairs.
The sought-after sneakers sold for $25.3 million in an auction at Sotheby’s. Considered a piece of art, its proceeds were towards a scholarship fund for Black fashion students.
“This object happened way before me, but to get to a context where it’s adjacent to the T-shirt and the suit, its logic has been 40 years in the making,” Abloh said, according to the press release.
“It’s completely not a shoe. It’s an art object. It doesn’t even need to be on someone’s feet,” Abloh told the FT before his passing. “It distills everything I’m saying into an object. The ‘Air Force 1’ is a basketball shoe, but through hip-hop culture, it has energized a representative sculpture. It means a lot to very specific people.”
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To continue his legacy and name alive, the fashion labels opened an installation in Brooklyn to showcase Abloh’s “Air Force 1.” The exhibition showcases 47 pairs of shoes in mirror-and-concrete structures. A few structures also read a few quotes Virgil was known for, such as, “Are you a tourist or a purist?” “Who did it first? Where did they get the idea? Is it new?”
This summer, nine iterations of the shoes will be sold, with prices beginning at $2,750. The Louis Vuitton and Nike “Air Force 1” exhibition by Virgil Abloh is open at 73 West Street in Brooklyn through May 31.